Friday, April 9, 2010

Battle for Minsk 28 June-3 July Pt IV

Terrain and Kupkri Station Scenario


Google Earth is the first place I go for terrain study. Unfortunately, Belarus lacks the high detail imagery available for other areas. But looking at what is available, you can see that broad rolling hills fill in between the river systems and otherwise the terrain is flat. From maps in the reference books, the Berezina River had wide swampy areas on both sides with roads and towns located along the drier patches. Numerous streams. North of Borisov, the terrain is generally swampy and wooded. Not ideal terrain for off-road manuvering but this is where the CAV-MECH OMG crossed the Berezina, which indicates German resistance was fairly light.

Kupkri Battle, Evening 28 June

3rd Guards Tank Corps has a sharp engagement with the 505th Tiger Battalion. The fighting continued into the night and at 0700 29 June, the Soviets capture Kupkri Station. Leading Soviet elements skirted Kupkri but ran into the 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion guarding the bridges over the Berzina at Borisov.

Forces are 10th Guards M/C Battalion, 18th Gds Tank Brigade (Turn 2), 1823rd SU Regiment (Turn 2) and for the Germans the 505th Tiger Battalion, 1./89th Panzer Pioneer Company, 2x Police Companies.

The battlefield will run NE (Soviet friendly edge) to SW (German friendly edge). Germans will occupy wooded and open positions up to 2/3rd of the tabletop back to their friendly edge. Their objective is primarily to hold the main NE-SW road/rail to Minsk and secondarily to destroy Soviet units and prevent their exiting off the SW edge. The Soviets will start close to their friendly edge and need to advance and exit off the SW edge. Their should also be a secondary NE-SW road with roads connecting the two routes. Numerous wooded patches, light and heavy, and a few hills should cover the tabletop. Kupkri Station should be represented as a small town on the railroad about the middle of the tabletop. A road should connect Kupkri Station to the South edge and to the secondary NE-SW road. The primary road/railroad will offer cover to units defending behind the road due to the railroad embankments but will not block line of sight.

The Soviets will have a tough time trying to stand up to the German Tigers with their Shermans. The SU-85's can hurt the Tigers but they will be primary targets for the Germans. But the Soviet objective is not to kill Tigers but exit the battlefield. Stretching the Germans out and making them cover multiple advance routes will help the Soviet player.
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